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Improving business through better business e-tools

Modern economies have experienced significant changes especially through the adoption of IT technologies, including e-commerce that has brought new means of business transaction. In an effort to increase their market share in this highly competitive arena, an IST project called SMARTISAN offers inexpensive, flexible and robust solutions for SMEs.

Digital Economy

Rapidly evolving e-commerce plays a key role in modern markets offering unique advantages such as accuracy, ease-of-use and timeliness of service. In this way, this innovative business architecture may lead to increased customer satisfaction and fulfillment of their expectations. At the same time, seamless communication channels have been enhanced, providing access to a larger clientele that may order goods through the wired or wireless Internet from anywhere and at any time. Until now, most of the contemporary SMEs still prefer to implement traditional business models since IT services and infrastructures appear too expensive and difficult to employ. Thereby, consultancy and technical expertise are highly required for SMEs to operate and maintain such systems. Addressing these shortcomings, this project resulted in a generic web-based platform that is expected not only to meet SMEs' needs, but also to boost delivery of services. The SMARTISAN Application Service Provider (SASP) e-business platform allows end-users to own a one-stop-shop that involves web services, IT and mobile applications along with wireless/voice/data communication capabilities. Coupled by a set of web tools called 'Virtual Artisans' the system provides user-friendly interaction with the user during or after sale. These tools are: the Virtual Shop Assistant, the Expert, the Planner, the Guide and the Knowledge Manager and offer information and knowledge that is tailor-made to customers requirements. Taking advantage of this system may lead to commitment to e-business structures, better support of stock control and distribution logistics as well as an easier and more cost-effective organisation. Three SMEs involved in the wholesale and retail sectors have already improved their business architectures by adopting these IT strategies. Apart from the Portuguese Fabor, the British S.J. Dixon & Sonand the Irish Dixon Shannon Minerals, more SMEs are expected to follow their successful paradigm in order to bring customers closer.

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Digital Economy

29 August 2019